If this behavior is left unchecked, teenage aggression becomes adult aggression. Teens need to learn anger management skills to have better control over their emotions as they enter adulthood. Angry outbursts that got them in trouble at school as a teenager can put them in jail as an adult.
Though all teenagers need to learn anger management skills, some have a hard time with it. Teens who try and fail to manage their anger need extra help and training. Learning to effectively use coping skills to manage anger takes time and effort.
Many teen boys who struggle with anger management see progress by attending a boarding school for troubled boys.
Why are anger management skills important?
It’s understandable when small children throw temper tantrums. They are still young, and they need to learn how to deal with anger and disappointment. When we see a little kid in a grocery store throwing a tantrum, it’s annoying; but it’s not scary. We know that their parents will deal with the situation one way or another.
When an adult throws a temper tantrum in a store, it’s a lot more serious. Adults who become aggressive when they don’t get their way are much scarier than a toddler throwing a tantrum.
YouTube is full of videos of fully grown adults losing their tempers in stores, restaurants, airplanes, and sporting events. Remember that every adult in those videos was once a teenager who never learned to handle their anger appropriately.
Anger is a normal human emotion. There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry, disappointed, or sad when something doesn’t go our way. However, we need to develop positive coping skills to manage those emotions. Unfortunately, lots of teens pick up negative coping skills as a way to deal with their anger.
Examples of negative coping skills include:
Being verbally or physically abusive to friends and family
Being verbally or physically abusive to strangers
Destroying personal belongings
Destroying others’ belongings
Abusing drugs or alcohol
Having unsafe sex
Participating in risky activities
Teens need to learn positive coping skills to manage their anger before they reach adulthood.
Teaching anger management skills to your teen
There are a few things that you can do to help your teen learn anger management skills.
A lot of teenagers don’t understand that anger is an emotion, not an action. There can be numerous responses to being angry. Some of those responses are acceptable, and some are not.
Make sure that your teen understands that they will be angry sometimes, and that’s OK. It’s their response to the anger that matters.
Set expectations for anger management in your family
Make sure that your teenager understands which responses to anger are acceptable and which ones are not. You can set the same rules for their behavior at school or set different school rules. Either way, set clear guidelines for the expectations in your family.
Help them find positive coping skills
Teens need to learn positive coping skills that work for them. Some teens like to blow off steam by taking time alone to listen to music. Others prefer to be physically active and go for a run or play sports. Others find solace in creativity like writing, painting, or playing an instrument.
Help your teen find positive coping skills that help them calm down when they are angry.
Model the behavior you want
As you start teaching your teen more anger management skills, model the behavior you want. Your kids are bound to learn from what you do more than what you say. If they see that you can control your anger and still stand up for yourself, they’ll learn how to do it as well. Talk to them about the anger management techniques that work for you and how you have developed them.
Understanding how to manage anger is a skillset that most people work on for years. Don’t expect your teen to be perfect at it immediately. However, you should still hold your teen accountable for working on it.
If you think that your son would benefit from getting professional help learning anger management skills, Sundance Canyon Academy could be a good fit for him. Contact us today for more information about our school.